Monday, March 22, 2010

News, or lack thereof (mostly)

I always had this perception of myself as a strong person.  And I guess about some things, I am.  I can deal with certain, probably many, types of adversity.  But the thing I am terrible at, the thing that reduces me to a ball of nerves and exhaustion and depression and despondency, is waiting without knowing.

I doubt this makes me unique or special.  That's probably the worst thing for anyone.  But in any event, I feel like I should be stronger than I am right now.

Because right now, I am a mess.

The situation with Emma is that she is essentially in a holding pattern.  She hasn't required surgery, which is good, but her intracranial pressure has been spiking off and on, and so all we can do is wait until she stabilizes a little bit more so that the doctors can do an MRI and try to get a sense of the extent of any brain damage she has suffered.  We are being told that she will need to stay in the hospital for 3 weeks to a month, and then require probably at least a year of therapy.  But right now, we just don't know how bad the damage is or how extensive the impact will be in the long term.  So we wait, without really knowing how long we will have to wait for some information, some understanding of what the prognosis is.

Every once in a while, the mundane details of life take me away from it, mentally, so I'll be focusing getting Zeke dressed or finding an emery board because I've got a snag in my nail or doing the dishes.

Then it will all rush back.  There are pictures posted on the CarePage of Emma in the hospital bed, with the ICP monitor attached to her head, and they haunt me.  I think about it and I start to cry.  I look at pictures of Emma surfing or coming back from lacrosse practice, all sweaty and healthy and beautiful, or grinning while piling on for a family picture at Thanksgiving, and my throat catches and my chest tightens and I'm overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and desperation.

Thanksgiving 2009.  L to R:  Jason, Emma, Mom, Hazel, Josie, me, Josh and Lydia.  Not the entire crazy mishpachah, but most of it.

This is a hard time.

On the home front, it's so great to have Jason back in town.  His new project is 30 minutes from the house, and he gets off work early enough to pick up the kids from school.  We can share dinner duties and have time to exercise and just be a normal family again.  Plus we have reclaimed our bed.

I'm going to go to New Hampshire over Easter weekend to see Emma and help out any way I can.  In the meantime, your emails, comments, and messages on Emma's website have been tremendous.  I am so thankful for the support of my wonderful friends.  With all the prayer lists and candles and everything else that our friends and neighbors are doing, I think we've got just about every religious denomination covered.  So that's good.  We'll take it all.

Meanwhile, we wait.


  1. Anonymous12:00 PM

    We wait.

    We pray.

    The prayers warriors are in full battle mode. We've got your back!


  2. I'll continue sending you my buddhist/methodist/new agey positive vibes. I can't imagine what you're going through, and you are in my thoughts and so are Emma and the rest of your family. So glad you at least have Jason there with you.

  3. Sherice - you're the best. Thanks so much.

    Suz - I love the buddhist/methodist/new agey combo. My uncle, a not-at-all-reformed hippie, is a spiritual healer (he actually makes a living off it) who founded his own church, largely based upon the drinking of ritualistic, hallucinogenic tea. So we're all about the spiritualism in all forms in my family. ;)

  4. The waiting and hoping and praying and crying is the worst. It's terrible to feel so scared and to feel powerless and just wait. Light and energy to all of you. Big hugs, Wendy.

  5. Thanks, Lis. xoxo

  6. This is a difficult and heartbreaking season in the Jacob/Lay family and this season will pass and bring about a stronger, healthier one. I am sure of it. I am truly in awe of what an incredibly strong and amazing family you are a part of Wendy. Reading all the comments people have left on your facebook pages, blog and the care page demonstrates that so many people love and support Emma and all the people in her family. This to me is a testament to what an amazing girl she must be and that she comes from an amazing family. I am proud to be able to say I know you and your family. Be strong and lie down and just breathe when you feel overwhelmed....and know that there are gaggles of people all over the world praying for your niece and for your family.

  7. Lori, that is seriously one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. You are right, I am so fortunate to come from such a strong, supportive family. If love and sheer force of will count for anything, Emma will pull through this. And she has the strength and courage to do it -- she is an amazing kid. From the day she was born, we have all been crazy about her, and she has done nothing but prove, through her sweetness, her sense of humor, her intelligence, her drive, and her accomplishments, that we have been right all along in thinking she is incredibly special.